Spinal cord injuries can result in some of the most damaging and unbearable side effects possible. Injuries in this area of the body often result in a change, either temporary or permanent to normal motor or sensory function.
A fragile, spaghetti-like plethora of nerves surround the spinal cord, all of which are vital to the human body functioning regularly. When these nerves are compromised, pain, spasticity, depression and many other side effects often occur, leaving the victim in constant need for medical treatment.
Recent studies have indicated that perhaps the most effective treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries and its related side effects is medical marijuana.
1. In a 2010 study, the Department of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, Canada recruited 12 volunteers with spinal injuries to test whether Nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid alleviated their spasticity. The results concluded that 11 of the 12 subjects showed significant decrease in activity from affected muscle groups.
2. The Switzerland Centre for Spinal Cord Injury conducted a study in 2007 involving 25 patients with spinal cord related injuries. Each subject was given oral THC in the form of oil. By the end of the study a major overall decrease in the spasticity sum score (SSS) was noted through this method of treatment, leading the centre to conclude that THC is an effective and safe drug in the treatment of spasticty.
3. In 1995 the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, conducted a test on five quadriplegic patients using Dronabinol as treatment. At the conclusion of the test, Spasticity was markedly improved in two of the five patients, while two showed slight improvements and one showed no improvement. In all five subjects however, decreased vigour in erratic mood states was noted.
4. A 1982 study conducted by J. Malec and RF Harvey compiled 43 questionnaires from cannabis users who suffered from severe spinal cord injuries. The results showed that all 43 participants reported decreased spasticity with cannabis use.
5. In 2001, the Switzerland Centre for Spinal Cord Injury conducted a study on SCI sufferers who all experienced overactive bladder as a major side effect. 15 patients were given THC orally or rectally over a period of 6 weeks. At the end of the study, the oral group did not demonstrate much of a reduction in bladder activity. However, the rectal group showed significant decreases in bladder activity, with 5 of the 6 measuring “tools” indicating improvement in all rectally treated patients.